Swamiji speaking on the unconventional behaviour of a Paramahamsa:
Reads: The god of Gods, Shankara, rose to meet the sage and stretched his arms out to embrace him.
Swamiji: Right? Shiva Bhagawan saw a holy man approaching and rose to greet him. But the holy man avoided him.
Reads: He stepped aside and said, ‘touch me not because you have broken social convention and flouted the injunctions of the Vedas.’
Now here, Shiva Bhagawan, you must remember, did break social bounds. But why Shiva Bhagawan broke social bounds and ‘apparently’ flouted the injunctions is because he’s a Paramahamsa. No Paramahamsa ever rigidly keeps certain laws [social conventions]. They may keep it sometimes and sometimes they don’t. In India you can see this. Take Ramakrishna for that matter, a lot of things he... [Swamiji chuckles]...he obeyed and other things he just carried on [ignored]. So from a paramahamsa’s point of view, if you look at Shiva Bhagawan, he was right.
But Shiva lost his temper. Now if I look at Shiva as my supreme lord, I can’t see anything wrong in him ‘losing his temper’ because he’s above that injunction of scriptures and human laws. It all depends if you understand that. If one time Ramakrishna kicked me and one time blessed me I’ll understand it as far as I’m concerned, even humanly I’ll understand it. Because he’s a Paramahamsa – he just does what he feels like. But because I know of certain conventions, because I want to see who’s important in relativity, then from that point of view you say, ‘no’. And even if Shiva is being respected or not respected he doesn’t care two hoots about it. Either you call him supreme or you call him call him low [something inferior].
Well, Shiva took his trident and changed into a madman. You know that Paramahamsas are sometimes seen as ‘mad’ men? I saw this in Kanyakumari [at the southernmost point of India] where Maya Ma [a local Paramahamsa-saint] one moment took the food and was feeding the cows. Two cows came up to snatch the food - and she took a stick and started beating the two which then ran away. It looked so comical because here was this ‘old lady’ with almost no clothes on, running and hitting these cows. And the very next moment, she made a little sound calling the cows - and all the cows came to her again. Now how will ordinary people like us ever conceive what the inner substance of this particular being is? Sometimes when you prostrate to them they’ll just walk away. Another time they will tap [touch] you. How are you going to understand this? They are Paramahamsas. They are above the pairs of opposites. Even spitting on you, to you as a man - that should be a blessing. But you see, you are attached to relativity. Blessing and cursing. Treating well or treating badly. Now this is really beyond that. OK?